I wanted to tell you all a little more about yesterday's move into the new hospital. We're still working hard, and I'm pretty tired tonight, too, but I'll try to give a little more detail.
The day yesterday began nothing like any other day. I woke up at 5:15, and couldn't get back to sleep. I got up, drank coffee, did Facebook and email, and still got ready and went to the hospital by 7:30. I wanted to have time to take plenty of photos, and still start rounds at the usual time.
I stopped at the materniny to see if the last baby had been born. There was a lady in late labor, and no others in labor, so I knew that she was a pretty safe bet for the last delivery. Her name was Marina Samson, and she shortly gave birth to a little girl.
On rounds on pediatrics (my ward) I tried to discharge all the patients I could. I had two kids on oxygen. I checked their oxygen saturation off supplemental oxygen. One did well for about 10 minutes, the other was able to stop using oxygen.
During rounds all unoccupied beds were moved to the new hospital. There were a number of new beds, divided between Maternity, Medicine and Surgery.
About 9:00 the first ward Maternity (B-Ward in the old hospital, D-Ward in the new) started moving. I got a photo of the first lady to move. Each patient got a wrist band with their bed number and name, to avoid any confusion on arrival. They were supposed to go into the same bed number in the new ward as in the old. Each one was accompanied by a nurse or a doctor, and their own family members who helped carry their personal belongings, and sometimes an IV flask. Most were wheeled in wheelchairs. The new maternity ward got a lion's share of new beds, so most of the old beds did not need to be moved.
After all the B-Ward patients had moved to the new D-Ward, the patients from the old C-Ward started moving into the new B-Ward (are you keeping track?) Most went by wheelchair. Since there were only a few new beds on the new ward, so for most of these patients the bed had to be brought along. Nursing students, off-duty staff members, the chaplains, doctors' family members, other missionaries all helped with bed duties.
In-between the patients, staff members were taking furniture and boxes of supplies. For heavier items, any rolling device was pressed into service as transport. Beds with exam tables, gurneys with cabinets on top, any wheeled conveyance at all was used.
As the last of the C-Ward patients went over we got the word to start moving the old A-Ward to the new A-Ward. That's right, peds is the only ward to keep its old letter-name. Peds didn't get any of the new beds, so the old ones had to follow each patient. I waited until my most critically-ill baby, and went with him. I had kept him on oxygen until the last minute. There was an oxygen concentrator waiting on the new ward. I went back and accompanied the last patient, who rode a gurney, as he was too big to carry, and to weak to sit up in a wheelchair.
There was a brief break for the 11:00 med pass, then D-Ward started moving to the new C-Ward. The tricky thing about this bunch, is that 3 of them are in traction, 2 for femur (thigh-bone) fractures, and one for a cervical spine (neck) fracture. They had to stay in their beds, with tension on the traction. Dr. Jim took part of the weight off the traction to reduce bouncing and jerking during the move. Then 4 men lifted the bed and carried it as carefully and smoothly as possible. These beds had to go a different route than the general population in order to use wide doors. Out of D-Ward, through the now-vacant C-Ward, out through Labor and Delivery, a sharp left, then follow the sidewalks around to the car-park by Administration, then across the gravel drive to the sidewalks, and on to the new ward, where the traction was adjusted and the patients settled. I was one of the 4 carriers for 3 of them (but with a reliever, and we rotated).
The move of patients was completed by 11:30. But a lot of work remained. There was (and still is) a lot of work to be done to get the new Outpatient Department ready for Monday's opening. I've been helping Judy (who is coordinating the OPD prep). The operating room staff have been working hard getting the new OR ready for use, getting the minor procedure room ready, and the surgical part of the OPD arranged. The emergency generator had to be moved and re-installed at the new hospital. There are countless tasks remaining, that have to be finished by Monday morning. We'll keep working.
For more photos, see the albums listed in yesterday's post, and also look here for Steph Doenges' pictures.